Report: New Case to Give iPhone Users Access to NFC, Isis (Jan. 23, 2014)
With the Isis mobile wallet now live across the U.S., iPhone users remain unable to use the wallet to make contactless in-store purchases due to the handset’s lack of NFC capability. But that could soon change, according to a new report that AT&T will begin selling Incipio’s Cashwrap case, which uses an NFC chip in the case itself along with a companion app to equip iPhones with contactless capability.
A post this week on Engadget featured a photo—sent in by a tipster—of what appears to be the retail packaging for the Cashwrap case for iPhone, along with instructions for how to link the case with Isis. The tipster also claimed AT&T Stores already have the case in their inventory, and soon will begin selling it for $70. No official announcement has been made by AT&T, Apple or Incipio. Cashwrap was first unveiled in a May 2013 post on Incipio’s blog. At the time, the company said the case would be available that year though AT&T, but the carrier has yet to begin selling it.
Bringing NFC capability to the iPhone could be a boon for Isis; many industry observers have cited the small number of NFC-equipped handsets on the U.S. market as one of the major challenges facing contactless-based mobile wallets like Isis in the battle for market share in the mobile wallet space. Isis—a joint venture between mobile carriers AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless—rolled out nationwide in November, after pilots in Salt Lake City and Austin, Texas, that began in fall 2012.